Fiery Fall

Time to fire up the kitchen and bring the heat! We have lots of great food out cooking in the dirt, and now is just the season to be thankful for a bountiful harvest. The CSA is starting back up, so you’ll get to take that food home and cook it in the pan.

Right now, we’ve got collards and leaf lettuce growing, and a lovely crop of green beans tucked away in one of the hoophouses. Many of our fall brassicas are in the field right now, all in varying stages of growth. Sweet potatoes are curing, so certainly expect to feast on those in the future. We’ve also had quite the harvest of hot peppers, which is what I’m going to talk about today.

When the cool seasons roll around, I find myself drawn to the warmth of the kitchen. Even if I’m not cooking something, I’ll heat up a skillet and get that early morning chill out of my hands. Hot peppers are a good way to heat up too, but I often find myself at an utter loss of how to cook them. These spicy veggies just aren’t a common food for many folks, so they present quite the culinary challenge.

Now, before we go any further, I want to seriously talk about safety a moment. Whenever you are handling hot peppers, they will leave a residue on your hands that could inadvertently wind up somewhere you don’t want it. When working with hot peppers, avoid touching the eyes, nose, or any other sensitive body part. When finished, wash the hands thoroughly with soap. Make sure to get under the fingernails too! For those with sensitive breathing a facemask may even be necessary. Please don’t feel so intimidated by the warning that you swear off hot peppers forever!

Now let’s gather around the recipe book, and tear out some of these pages for kindling.

Navajo Posole

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blue posole (dried whole hominy).
  • ½-cup mild fresh green chilies, roasted, peeled, and chopped, or one four-ounce can.
  • 1 to 3 fresh or canned jalapenos, peeled, seeded and chopped.
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (about ¾ cup)
  • 2- to 3-pound boneless pork roast
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (optional)
  • Salt, to taste

Rinse posole in cold water until water runs clear. Soak it for several hours in cold water. Place posole with water to cover in a large pot or Dutch oven to boil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until posole pops, about 1 hour. Add chilies, jalapenos, onion, garlic, tomato, and pork. Simmer, covered, about 4 hours until meat is tender. Shred meat and return it to the pot. Season with oregano and salt. Simmer, covered, for at least 1 additional hour.  Serves 4 to 6.

(Note: Frozen or canned posole is also available in some areas and may be substituted. If using either of these products, soaking is not necessary and cooking time may be reduced by about 1 hour.)

That’s all for now! Keep watching this blog for more entries from our students.

Posted by Dylan Mulder, November 1, 2013.

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